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FAREWELL KIND FRIEND

Published 4 days ago 25th January 2023 by Jamie O’Flaherty

There was an outpouring of grief and profound sadness for the town of Clonmel and beyond following the passing of Chris O’Regan recently.

A much loved and legendary figure of soccer across Tipperary, Chris O’Regan was a loyal friend, tremendous soccer player and manager, and a trusted work colleague to all who were lucky enough to know him.

My own friendship with Chris goes as far back as 1983 when I first signed for Clonmel Town FC.
Back then Chris managed every schoolboy team with the club and his care and love for all who played for him was evident every week when he drove to many estates in the town to collect players for training and to drop them back home again safely afterwards.

Chris O’Regan pictured with Paddy Brett, Noel Parker and Clonmel Town schoolboy team from the mid eighties.

He was a joy to be with and his smile and careful instruction served as a boost to every player he coached.
He was an excellent player himself and represented Clonmel Town for many years in the Munster Senior League as well as in the Tipperary Southern and District League.
At the end of the 1987 season he moved to St Martin’s as player-coach and was highly respected there just as he was with Clonmel Town.

As a player Chris was instantly recognisable by his long black hair and trusted left foot. He was tough and direct and came out on top regardless of the opponent. He had a long playing career and coupled that with managing the youth of Clonmel for over 30 years.

Chris O’Regan with his good friend Bradley Devine. The pair managed both schoolboy and youth teams with Clonmel Town.
Chris O’Regan pictured with Liam and John Delahunty after receiving some coaching videos and books.

Chris was also a tremendously kind and caring human being. When he heard that my daughter Ellie needed surgery in London to have a tumour removed he was the first to call to my house to offer financial support. Caring about others despite fighting illness at the time himself.

I just loved his directness and honesty. Two years ago I gave Chris a hamper for Christmas containing fancy cheese and meat that had been carefully smoked. I met him a few weeks later and he told me that he had given his sister the hamper as a Christmas present because he wouldn’t eat that shit.
That was Chris, honest and to the point.

What he has done for the thousands of children he coached and guided for over 30 years in Clonmel will never be replicated.

He was a one-off who gave his time to make the lives of others better. His commitment to schoolboy football and coaching will always be remembered.

Chris will be desperately missed by all who knew him but especially his loving family.
He adored them all, especially his loving mother Betty.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.

Rest in peace Chris.

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